By this point, most people seemed to have stopped going on about how The Hangover Part II basically amounted to a lackluster replica of its predecessor - and are instead now expressing their hope that the inevitable Part III will bring something new to the comedy table.
Right before Part II hit theaters, director Tod Phillips began discussing his plans for The Hangover Part III to NOT be "in the same template" as the first two entries in the series. So exactly what shenanigans might The Wolfpack be up to that don't involve getting outrageously drunk one night, only to wake up to a crisis the next morning as they try and piece together what craziness went down?
According to what [Galifianakis has] heard, the plot [of 'Hangover 3'] ditches the format of the first two and focuses on his character escaping from a mental institution with help from the wolf pack.
The idea of Alan (Galifianakis) being committed in the third Hangover movie doesn't exactly require a stretch of the imagination. The reason for breaking him out of a prison-like setting is anyone's guess right now, but it would at least give Phil (Bradley Cooper), Stu (Ed Helms), and maybe even Doug (Justin Bartha) something new to do this next time around.
Assuming this is the direction that Phillips and Hangover 3 screenwriter Craig Mazin are currently headed in with the threequel, it could go either way in terms of quality. On the one hand, it would provide Cooper, Helms, and Galifianakis an opportunity to stretch their comedy skills beyond their ability to react in a (theoretically) hilarious fashion to all the madness going on around them. However, the "prison escape" setup would presumably mean that the main Hangover trio won't be able to play off one another for a good chunk of the new film, since Galifianakis would be separated from the others - and that has the potential to be either a good or bad thing.
Since we're at a very early stage of development for the third Hangover movie, it's easy to be optimistic that the next film will mix the action up more than Hangover 2 did. The problem is that "different" doesn't immediately translate into "good" - especially when the premise in question sounds more than a bit like the contrived template for an episode of your average sitcom. Or an Ernest movie (see: Ernest Goes to Jail). Or a movie where Galifianakis has ALREADY played a weirdly funny mental patient (see: It's Kind of a Funny Story).
Then again, the whole purpose of the "plot" in any Hangover picture is merely to set the stage for The Wolfpack's wild antics - be they booze-fueled, chemical-enhanced, or the result of an attempt to "rescue" one of their own. So if you still loved Cooper, Helms, and Galifianakis' respective characters in Hangover 2 as much as you did in the original, then it probably doesn't matter too much to you what the "plot" of Part III is. So long as it's both different AND funny.
So will the film actually go in this direction? Well, those with long memories will recall that it was Galifianakis who originally let slip that The Hangover II would be set in Thailand, way back in 2009. Director Todd Phillips then vehemently denied that rumor...until it was revealed that his denial was an outright lie. I say all that to say: it wouldn't be all that surprising if we were witnessing history repeat itself.
Don't be surprised if The Hangover Part III is scheduled for a Summer 2013 release date in the near future.
Source: Rolling Stone